Friday, 2 January 2015

About CDC

With the fly tying season well into stride, my fly tying classes featured a week on using CDC.
The students were amazed when I did the powerpoint presentation which showed close up views of the cdc, which enabled them to see why cdc had the floating properties.
CDC itself is a bunch of plumes that are around the preening gland of the duck and it was explained that this was a way of the duck or drake to transfer the oil from the gland onto the beak so the duck can apply it to the surrounding feather to water proof and condition them.
There was a discussion that the oil was the main property of enabling the feather to float.
When the diagrams of the cdc were shown to them they understood it was not the oil but the structure of the feather, with the barbules and helicoils that trapped the air

With this in mind i also explained that cdc was a fantastic feather for using on flies such as bumbles, irish mayfly patterns and nymphs, as when the feather becomes water logged it created movement in the fly and on a mayfly nymph it cloaked the whole fly to create a fantastic shape when pulled through the water.

An emerger pattern was tied up to show them that this could be fished dry or wet.

Next pattern shows how the cdc can be incorporated into a traditional Irish bumble and a black pennell
Finally a traditional Mayfly pattern was tied using cdc as an under hackle as this meant you could cast the fly out onto the water to a rising fish and it would float , then you could always pull the fly and it would perform like any normal wet fly pattern.

Over the year of 2014 i bleached and dyed up 15 different colors of cdc and have been using it on the majority of my patterns.
2015 will see the new designs using CDC on the jig hook patterns and various nymph patterns.
The first week of May 2015 will see me at the G.A.I.A  event in the north of England where i will be carrying out demonstrations and hopefully a workshop on how to dress these and also the wire woven flies which have been a big succes.
So don't be afraid to bleach and dye cdc as the process does not affect the floating properties, well it does not on wild duck cdc so i cannot say the same process works on commercial white duck.
To date my customers have been delighted with the cdc and with 2 kilos of raw cdc in stock i have a lot of dyeing to do this winter,  I hope this wee article is of help to you and if you need any help or advice feel free to get in contact.
Happy 2015.

Thursday, 30 October 2014


A pattern to use early next season is the pearly dabbler, this was used on a size 6 and size 8 single trout hook and caught a few  salmon on carrowmore.
It is also a great fry pattern from mid June.
These are now available on my web site together with all the new patterns.

Monday, 27 October 2014


This year saw one of my designs work well on the Irish loughs,the Peachy dabbler.
specifically designed as a Daphnia pattern it was tried out on Loughs Mask Sheelin and Corrib and the results were truly amazing.
New modifications to the pattern will be carried out over the winter and i look forward to field testing them next year.
The recipe for this is as follows

HOOK- size 10 wet hook
TAIL- Claret cock pheasant tail
BODY- peachy angel hair
BODY HACKLE sunburst saddle
RIB gold utc wire
UNDER HACKLE- flo orange saddle
WING- hot orange bronze mallard


Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Melvin Rose

This pattern was originally designed over 10 years ago when fishing lough Melvin.
Francy McGorty of the owner of Melvin house near Garrison asked for a fly to be designed the night we were staying and this was created, with no name we decided to christen it the Melvin Rose after Francy.
This around June time and it worked fantastic in the deeps for the Sonaghan as it turned out to be a fantastic Daphnia pattern.
This version has been tweeked, instead of the usual english partridge we substituted it for the flo yellow french partridge and the pattern still worked well on the loughs.
For anyone wanting to tie this up here is the recipe.

THREAD- red danvilles 7/0
HOOK- size 10 med wt wet hook
TAIL- sunburst pheasant tail
RIB- gold wire
BODY- banana glister
BODY HACKLE- sunburst hackle
UNDER HACKLE- flo orange hackle
OVER HACKLE- flo yellow french partridge

Sunday, 14 September 2014

More of the Pseudo hackle

Last week saw a friend of mine come over to Ireland to have a weeks fly tying tuition and fishing.
As you may know conditions have been bad with very little rain and the rivers not fishing much.

But we managed to get a few fish on the new patterns tied with the Pseudo hackle.
hopefully Adam will be trying these out for grayling this year and i wait to get the results back.

Reports have been coming back that the Pink Pseudo patterns have worked well for the sea trout so production has started on the patterns and will be on the web site next week.